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Common Causes of Bad Breath & What To Do

common causes of bad breath

Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common problem that affects many people. It can be embarrassing and difficult to deal with but can be prevented and treated. Instead of masking the problem temporarily with gum, mints or breath freshener, understanding the causes of halitosis is the first step in finding an effective solution.

What causes chronic bad breath?

Determining why you have bad breath may require consulting a health professional, as there can be several possible causes. One likely cause is gum disease, which is caused by the bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on food particles stuck between your teeth or on the surface of your tongue. They produce sulphur compounds which give off a foul smell. Medical conditions such as dry mouth, sinus infections, acid reflux or kidney or liver problems can also cause bad breath. To determine what is causing your bad breath, visit a dentist. During that appointment, the dentist will do a dental examination and then discuss your oral health habits and medical history. They will refer you to your doctor if they determine that it is not an oral health issue. 

How to stop chronic halitosis from returning?

If your bad breath is an oral health issue, a consultation with a dentist and a visit to an oral health therapist should be enough to correct your problem. But unless you want it to return, you will need to follow the below oral health routine:

  • Brushing twice daily, preferably with an electric toothbrush, to clean all surfaces of your teeth and tongue.
  • Flossing or interdental brushing between your teeth once daily.
  • Regularly visiting the dentist for a check-up and an oral health therapist for a clean.
  • We also strongly suggest stopping smoking and reducing your sugar consumption.


If you have a problem with bad breath, call our Welcome Desk on (03) 6231 3645 to request an appointment. We can help.

Learn more about dental checkups.
Learn more about what an oral health therapist is.

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(03) 6231 3645

Ian Gurner Dental Dentists